In a statement posted on EA’s official blog, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter Moore, admitted that EA has let gamers down in recent weeks.
Of course, many gamers would argue that the letdowns began many years ago, but it’s a start. Baby steps.
The post is titled “We Can Do Better” and it begins with an unattributed quote: “The tallest trees catch the most wind.”
Apparently EA thinks it’s nature’s fault that the company is so awful.
It was definitely the wind that led to EA being named Worst Company in America in 2012 by Consumerist.com. And it’s the wind that has led to EA once again charging to an early lead in the voting to determine 2013’s worst company.
The metaphor falls apart when you consider the thousands of big companies — many far bigger than EA — that haven’t enraged their customers to even a tiny fraction of the extent EA has.
If the largest trees catch the most wind, how does one explain phenomena like Apple’s eight-year run at the very top of the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s ranking?
“Let me cut to the chase: it appears EA is going to ‘win’ [the voting]” writes Moore. “Like the Yankees, Lakers and Manchester United, EA is one of those organizations that is defined by both a legacy of success, and a legion of critics (especially me regarding all three of those teams).”
Moore goes on to state that EA has faced criticism from conservative media outlets for allowing gamers to create gay and transgendered characters in games, saying that he’s happy to carry the label of worst company if that’s the result promoting equality.
Um, no. Maybe a few right-wing freaks are upset about a few gay pixels, but that issue is but a speck when compared to the hundreds of legitimate complaints gamers have about EA’s shady business practices. We’re talking restrictive digital rights management, closing beloved game studios, early server shut-downs, little innovation in areas where EA holds a monopoly, overpriced games, day-one downloadable content… the list goes on and on.
If/when EA is named America’s worst company for the second year running, it will be because that’s how the people voted. No apologetic blog post is going to change that. No empty promises to improve will, either. The only thing that will prevent EA from winning year after year is meaningful changes to the company’s business practices.
Moore’s pretend apology letter doesn’t include a single mention of how EA plans to improve. Is anyone surprised?